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  • Mueller witness bragged about access to Clintons secured with illegal campaign cash, says Justice Department -

    Mueller witness bragged about access to Clintons secured with illegal campaign cash, says Justice DepartmentAn emissary for two Arab princes boasted to unnamed officials of a Middle Eastern government about his direct access to Hillary and Bill Clinton while funneling more than $3.5 million in illegal campaign contributions to the 2016 Clinton campaign and Democratic fundraising committees, according to a federal indictment.


  • GOP Rep. pitches LGBTQ rights bill with religious exemptions -

    GOP Rep. pitches LGBTQ rights bill with religious exemptionsAs Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals. The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other public services ? while also carving out exemptions for religious organizations to act based on beliefs that may exclude those of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Stewart?s bill counts support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it has yet to win a backer among House Democrats who unanimously supported a more expansive LGBTQ rights measure in May.


  • Bloomberg says his reporters must 'live with' limits on coverage -

    Bloomberg says his reporters must 'live with' limits on coverageDemocratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg on Friday defended the policy implemented by his news agency to steer clear of investigating him, saying doing so would not be credible. Bloomberg told CBS News he "hired somebody outside" to run the Bloomberg News organization and establish policies for ethics. When asked about complaints from Bloomberg journalists that the policy to avoid investigating him or other Democratic candidates, he replied, that they "have to live with some things" about the job.


  • Blind inmate to be executed by electric chair, first since death penalty reinstated -

    Blind inmate to be executed by electric chair, first since death penalty reinstatedThe state's Supreme Court refused to postpone the execution of Lee Hall, who was convicted in the burning death of estranged girlfriend Traci Crozier.


  • Weather whiplash to bring warmup, heavy rain and flood threat followed by Arctic blast to Northeast -

    Weather whiplash to bring warmup, heavy rain and flood threat followed by Arctic blast to NortheastAs the holidays approach and many may find themselves dreaming of a white Christmas, Mother Nature has a different idea up her sleeves. The weather pattern will soon be reversed in the northeastern United States, allowing wintry landscapes to transform into a sloppy, muddy mess instead.Forecasters are closely watching a storm system that is expected to take shape and track toward the Great Lakes early next week -- and it will be the player that will help to flip the weather conditions in the East. As wintry weather and yet another snowstorm are predicted for portions of the Midwest, surging warm and moist air will race out ahead of the system.Temperatures are expected to rebound to the 30s over the northern tier to near 50 F in parts of Virginia as a southerly breeze develops on Sunday.On Monday, temperatures are forecast to surge into the 40s across the northern tier and the 50s and 60s across part of the mid-Atlantic region. The warm air combined with rain will dissolve the deep snow over part of the Northeast, potentially leading to flooding issues for some communities. Recent storms have buried parts of New York state and central and northern New England under as much as 1-3 feet of snow in the last couple of weeks. A car makes its way through a snowy landscape in Highland Falls, N.J., Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. The last of the snow is falling over parts of New Jersey after leaving behind power outages in the northwest part of the state. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) That snowcover contains a significant amount of locked-up moisture, called the snow-water equivalent.Within the existing snow on the ground, there is between 1 and 5 inches of water as of Thursday, Dec. 5.Many areas, including those places where deep snow is on the ground, may stay well above freezing Sunday night, which can allow the snow to soften up. This image was taken from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (NOAA) Some of the deep snow may harmlessly melt from Sunday to early Monday before the storm and its soaking rain arrives, but there is a risk that surging temperatures, moist air and drenching rain may cause a rapid meltdown of the existing snowcover from later Monday into Tuesday.Instead of releasing the 1-5 inches of water by itself, another 1-2 inches of water may be added in depending on the intensity of the rainfall that occurs. "Since the ground is not frozen, some of the melting snow and rain will be absorbed by the soil and should avoid disastrous stream and river flooding," Dale Mohler, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, said.However, some quick rises on small streams are likely with minor flooding possible in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding during heavy rain or spring thaw events. Some of the rivers may surge to bank full as well."Even if only part of the snow melts and only a light amount of rain falls, piles of snow along streets and highways that are blocking storm drains can lead to urban flooding," Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, said.Anderson said that property owners should make sure that runoff has easy access to storm drains ahead of the system's arrival to reduce the risk of flooding as a precaution."Even in some of the major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City where there is no appreciable snow on the ground, enough rain can fall to cause travel delays and ponding on roads that drain poorly," Dave Bowers, AccuWeather forecaster, said.Ski resorts in the region that have gotten off to their earliest start in recent years will take a hit from the storm. Those seeking ideal ski conditions are encouraged to hit the slopes into Sunday, before the rainstorm arrives.Along with bringing a swath of heavy snow to part of the Upper Midwest, next week's storm is predicted to unleash Arctic air in its wake later Tuesday and Wednesday. Remaining areas of slush and standing water can freeze as temperatures plummet across the northeastern U.S. There is a chance that the cold air may catch up with the back end of the rain and cause a period of snow at the tail end of the storm at midweek.Since the storm will be weak rather than strong, it's possible that a secondary storm may develop along the push of frigid air, according to AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno."I am pretty convinced that a storm is going to form along this boundary [between warmer air in place and colder air surging] into the Carolinas Tuesday night. Then, the question becomes does the storm goes out to sea and the cold front blasts out to sea? Or, does the storm have enough energy because of all of the energy associated with the jet stream that the storm strengthens? And, if it does, it won't go out to sea. It will come up the coast. If the storm does strengthen, you've got to worry about a snowstorm," Rayno said.The I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and eastern New England could face snow if the latter and stronger scenario unfolds. If a weaker secondary storm develops, then it will likely push out to sea. If a secondary storm forms and it strengthens enough, it may bring snow to the Northeast. No indications are currently pointing to a big snowstorm developing and rather it could be more of a nuisance snowfall, according to Rayno.However, this type of weather pattern has yielded major snowstorms in the past, and meteorologists will have to keep a watchful eye on how all of the weather players come together, Rayno added.AccuWeather meteorologists are also tracking the potential for yet another significant storm toward the middle of the month, warning that it could be disruptive to the eastern U.S. Download the free AccuWeather app to check the forecast in your area. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


  • The wife of disgraced Papa John's founder John Schnatter has filed for divorce -

    The wife of disgraced Papa John's founder John Schnatter has filed for divorceThe filing came a little more than a week after John Schnatter's viral interview in which he said he had eaten 40 pizzas in 30 days.


  • Giuliani Is in Kyiv; Ukrainian Officials Are Steering Clear -

    Giuliani Is in Kyiv; Ukrainian Officials Are Steering Clear(Bloomberg) -- Rudy Giuliani, whose work in Ukraine is at the heart of U.S. impeachment proceedings, is back in the country -- and officials in Kyiv appear to be keeping their distance.People with knowledge of his trip say Giuliani flew into Kyiv from Budapest on Wednesday, the same day that U.S. hearings stemming from his shadow diplomacy in Ukraine kicked over to the House Judiciary Committee. Social media postings show him meeting with current and previous Ukrainian political figures as part of a cable news documentary series that?s critical of the impeachment inquiry.But President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine won?t be meeting with him, according to the president?s spokeswoman. Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian billionaire who had ties to Zelenskiy, also said he wasn?t planning to meet Giuliani. Zelenskiy?s predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, met Giuliani twice in Kyiv in 2017; through a spokesman, he, too, said he had no plans to see Giuliani during his trip.Andriy Yermak, a key aide to Zelenskiy who figured prominently in the House?s impeachment report, was in London for a conference on Ukraine. He also said he wasn?t meeting Giuliani. ?How can I? I?m in London,? he said.Giuliani has been accompanied in Kyiv by Andriy Telizhenko, a Ukrainian who worked at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in 2016 and is the source of unsubstantiated allegations that his country interfered with the 2016 U.S. election.Telizhenko, who featured in the first episode of the documentary series on the One America News Network, declined to comment on the meetings, citing security issues.Others who have figured prominently in Giuliani?s Ukraine overtures in the past year -- former prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Kostyantyn Kulyk -- didn?t respond to requests for comment on whether they would be meeting Giuliani. In a Facebook post, Telizhenko said Giuliani would meet with Shokin and with former Ukraine prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko on Friday.Giuliani?s decision to descend on Kyiv to meet with some key people in the impeachment saga comes after months of public testimony in Washington about his back-channeling in Ukraine. Journalists in Kyiv clambered to learn where he was holding meetings. A group of reporters rushed to the Fairmont Grand Hotel, which declined to comment on whether he was staying there.With his visit, Giuliani appears to be doubling down on his efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on political opponents of President Donald Trump. He met, among others, with Andriy Derkach, a Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian parliamentarian who recently wrote a letter to Giuliani beseeching him to support criminal justice reform in the country -- an effort that could help Giuliani take on the mantel of corruption fighter rather than dirt digger.Meanwhile, Zelenskiy?s government is pursuing its own anti-corruption efforts. Giuliani?s visit to Kyiv coincided with a visit by Philip Reeker, the acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. On the same day Giuliani met with Lutsenko -- who is accused of corruption in the House impeachment report -- Reeker was meeting with Ruslan Ryaboshapka, Zelenskiy?s new prosecutor general, to discuss changes to the country?s law enforcement structures.?The new prosecutor office will be oriented at society?s trust,? Ryaboshhapka?s office said in a written statement. ?It must be effective and fair.?(Adds Telizhenko Facebook post in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Baker in London at stebaker@bloomberg.net;Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at jgrocott2@bloomberg.net, David S. JoachimFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Russian spies used French Alps as 'base camp' for hits on Britain and other countries -

    Russian spies used French Alps as 'base camp' for hits on Britain and other countriesFifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a ?base camp? to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was ?sufficient factual evidence? linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France?s Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders. They stayed between 2015 and late 2018, notably in the towns of Evian, Annemasse and Chamonix - the scene of a ski chase in the 1999 James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. They arrived from London, Moscow, Spain and often Geneva. The Le Monde report added five new names to those already published by online investigative outlets such as Bellingcat and The Insider. Their identities and movements were uncovered during a joint probe by allied counterespionage services in the wake of the attempted poisoning of defector Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018, said the paper. Britain and its allies accuse the Kremlin of seeking to assassinate Mr Skripal, a charge Russia vehemently denies. Those who stayed in the Haute-Savoie included Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - the cover names of the two GRU agents accused of carrying out the attack on Mr Skripal, along with Serguei Fedotov, the suspected mastermind. According to Le Monde, a fourth agent believed to be linked to the Skripal assassination attempt and who stayed in the Alps, Serguei Pavlov, was located in the UK by MI6 in 2017. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the Russian suspects in the Skripal poisoning, are among those alleged to have used the French Alps as a base Credit: Getty Images Europe Le Mondesaid the five new names cited, all aliases, are Alxandre Koulaguiine, Evgueni Larine, Tour Nouzirov, Naman Youssoupov and Guennadi Chvets. The unit was also active in areas such as Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine. Western intelligence services involved found no material or arms left behind by the agents during their stays in France, Le Monde said, but their presence was confirmed by where they ate, stayed and shopped. "The most likely hypothesis is to consider it (Haute-Savoie) as a rear base for all the clandestine operations carried out by unit 29155 in Europe," said a senior French intelligence official, quoted by Le Monde. The paper said that one theory is that by staying in the Alps, the agents hoped to shake off any suspicion before they carried out their missions, which could explain why they conducted no covert missions on French soil. On Wednesday, Angela Merkel?s government summoned the Russian ambassador and ordered two of the embassy staff to leave the country within seven days. The two diplomats concerned are believed to be Russian intelligence officers, according to local media reports. The German foreign ministry said they had been declared persona non grata in protest at Russia?s failure to cooperate with investigations into the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national shot dead in a Berlin park in August. The suspected killer was captured by police attempting to dispose of a gun believed to be the murder weapon in the nearby river Spree. He was carrying a Russian passport which identified him as Vadim Sokolov, but German prosecutors on Wednesday confirmed that they now believe that is a false identity. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were both poisoned with Novichok, a banned chemical weapon, in Salisbury Credit: Social media/EAST2WEST NEWS Police findings indicate that it is ?highly likely? the arrested man is Vadim Krasikov, a Russian national previously wanted for the murder of a businessman in Moscow in 2013, prosecutors said. A senior MP in Angela Merkel?s Christian Democrat party (CDU) on Thursday described the case as a ?return to the days of the Cold War?. ?Counterintelligence and foreign reconnaissance against Russia must be significantly expanded,? Armin Schuster told Bild newspaper. ?Germany must get its act together if a foreign state can order murder on German soil.?. France denies any ?laxism? by its embassy in Moscow for handing him a 90-day emergency visa on July 29 on a fictitious address. He passed through Paris before travelling on to Berlin. British and French intelligence sources told Le Monde the assassination was ?ordered by the pro-Kremlin Chechen regime of Ramzan Kadyrov with logistical help of the Russian state?. According to Le Monde, French intelligence suspects the Berlin assassination was leaked to the public for ?political reasons? linked to President Emmanuel Macron's apparent rapprochement with Moscow. Last week, Mr Macron said: ?Has the absence of dialogue with Russia made the European continent any safer? ... I don?t think so.? ?France's desire to rebuild strategic ties with Moscow has clearly prompted reactions from states who prefer direct confrontation with Russia,? said one French intelligence source, who denied any French ?complacency or naivity? towards Moscow. French surveillance of foreign Russian espionage was, the source told Le Monde, ?no doubt higher than any other service in Europe?.


  • Virginia Commission Calls for Repeal of ?Explicitly Racist? and ?Segregationist? Laws -

    Virginia Commission Calls for Repeal of ?Explicitly Racist? and ?Segregationist? LawsA Virginia state commission released a report Thursday calling for the official repeal of ?deeply troubling? state laws still on the books that contain ?explicitly racist language and segregationist policies.?The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law published a lengthy report saying that the outdated laws should not ?remain enshrined in law? despite no longer being in effect.?The commission believes that such vestiges of Virginia?s segregationist past should no longer have official status,? the report states. "The devastating long-term social, economic, and political impact of legalized segregation in Virginia continues to plague people of color today."While many of the laws the commission cited have been nullified by courts, such as the ban on interracial marriage in the ?Act to Preserve Racial Integrity,? the commission warned that they could become relevant again with another court ruling.?Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no child shall be required to enroll in or attend any school wherein both white and colored children are enrolled,? a 1956 law continues to read.Democratic governor Ralph Northam spearheaded the commission in June to identify state laws that ?were intended to or could have the effect of promoting or enabling racial discrimination or inequity.? The governor said he would focus on promoting racial equality for the rest of his term after weathering a scandal earlier this year over a racist yearbook photo depicting one person in blackface and another in a KKK outfit.Northam pledged in a statement Thursday to repeal all racially discriminatory language in Virginia law.?If we are going to move forward as a Commonwealth, we must take an honest look at our past,? the governor said. ?We know that racial discrimination is rooted in many of the laws that have governed our Commonwealth?today represents an important step towards building a more equal, just, and inclusive Virginia.?


  • UPDATE 2-Trump calls for World Bank to stop loaning to China -

    UPDATE 2-Trump calls for World Bank to stop loaning to ChinaU.S. President Donald Trump on Friday called for the World Bank to stop loaning money to China, one day after the institution adopted a lending plan to Beijing over Washington's objections. The World Bank on Thursday adopted a plan to aid China with $1 billion to $1.5 billion in low-interest loans annually through June 2025. China has plenty of money, and if they don't, they create it.


  • Hong Kong police sound alarm over homemade explosives -

    Hong Kong police sound alarm over homemade explosivesHong Kong's much-maligned police force provided a rare behind-the-scenes look Friday at its bomb disposal squad to show the potentially deadly destructive force of homemade explosives seized during months of protests that have shaken the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. In July, police announced the seizure of about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of TATP, which has been used in militant attacks worldwide. Other recent seizures in Hong Kong involved far smaller amounts, just 1 gram, of TATP, or tri-acetone tri-peroxide.


  • Bloomberg says ending 'nationwide madness' of gun violence drives his presidential bid -

    Bloomberg says ending 'nationwide madness' of gun violence drives his presidential bidDemocratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he wants to become president to end "the nationwide madness" of U.S. gun violence, calling it evil and saying he would allow its victims to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.


  • The Story of Henry Lee Lucas, the Notorious Subject of Netflix?s The Confession Killer -

    The Story of Henry Lee Lucas, the Notorious Subject of Netflix?s The Confession KillerThee self-proclaimed serial killer confessed to committing as many as 600 murders. Most of those claims turned out to be lies


  • Thunberg urges climate action because 'people are dying' -

    Thunberg urges climate action because 'people are dying'Teen activist Greta Thunberg on Friday urged world leaders gathered in Madrid for a UN climate conference to take urgent action to fight climate change, warning "we can't afford" more delays because "people are dying".


  • 19 unforgettable images from the Pearl Harbor attack 78 years ago -

    19 unforgettable images from the Pearl Harbor attack 78 years agoDecember 7, 1941 began as a perfect Sunday morning. These photos show the attack by Imperial Japan that changed history.


  • History Book Nightmare: Russia Could Have Nuked Away America's Submarine Fleet -

    History Book Nightmare: Russia Could Have Nuked Away America's Submarine FleetBy cutting off communications.


  • Two school shootings a day apart: Wisconsin reckons with impact of armed guards -

    Two school shootings a day apart: Wisconsin reckons with impact of armed guardsShootings involving resource officers renew debate over the role of armed teachers or police in schools Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools.An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer?s office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student?s head. Another police officer entered the room and shot the student.Neither of the students who were shot suffered life-threatening injuries. The Democratic governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, called the shootings ?breathtaking and tragic?.?The trauma that happens because of this just ripples through the community,? Evers added. ?It will take time for people to recover from this. Trauma is a significant issue. We have to be patient.?The debate about the role of armed teachers or police in schools has been a constant in the wake of school shootings across the country. But rarely have armed resource officers been able to prevent a shooting.An estimated 43% of public schools have armed officers on campus, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics. The survey covered the 2015-2016 school year, the most recent year surveyed. That figure doesn?t include schools with armed private security guards or teachers and administrators who carry guns.The US Department of Justice has adopted best practices for resource officers from the National Association of School Resources. Those guidelines call for resource officers to serve as police officers as well as teachers and mentors.Nasro recommends such officers have three years of experience and says they should be willing to engage with students and have excellent communication skills. They should complete a school-based policing course before being assigned to the beat and complete an advanced school policing course Nasro provides within a year of completing the basic course. They also should complete biannual training on how lone officers should handle threats and assailants.No Wisconsin laws spell out any special requirements for resource officers or restrictions on their weapons. But the state department of justice has adopted best practices similar to Nasro?s recommendations, calling for officers to work with schools on the extent of their duties, the skills they need, and where school discipline ends and illegal conduct begins. The state guidelines also suggest officers receive training in child development, restraint policies and de-escalation strategies.It?s not clear what led to Tuesday?s stabbing at Oshkosh West high school, which has 1,700 students. The police chief, Dean Smith, said that the officer and the student got into an ?altercation? in the officer?s office, the student stabbed the officer with an edged weapon ? Smith declined to elaborate ? and the officer opened fire with his 9mm pistol, hitting the student once. It?s unclear how many times the officer may have fired. Officials said the officer has 21 years of experience with the Oshkosh police department and has served as a school resource officer since 2017.At Waukesha South high school, 80 miles (130km) south of Oshkosh in suburban Milwaukee, a 17-year-old student apparently grew angry with another student and pointed a pellet gun at the other student. The school?s resource officer helped clear students from the classroom.Linda Ager told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Waukesha shooting happened in the classroom of her husband, Brett Hart, a special education teacher at Waukesha South. Ager said her husband restrained the student until the resource officer arrived.At some point, another officer entered the room and shot the student who refused to drop the weapon. Police said the boy pointed the gun at officers as they confronted him.Police said the student with the pellet gun underwent surgery and was in stable condition.?Today?s tragic event shows that trained school resource officers can save lives,? Vickie Cartwright, the Oshkosh superintendent, said at a news conference on Tuesday.As school shootings have become more frequent, gun rights advocates and gun control advocates have sparred over how best to respond to them. Supporters of gun restrictions have argued that putting more guns in schools does little to prevent shootings and just puts students at greater risk.Last year armed guards at three high-profile school shootings ? Marshall county high school in Benton, Kentucky; Majory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida; and Santa Fe high school in Texas ? were unable to stop those shootings. In Parkland, the school?s resource officer remained outside rather than enter the building to engage the shooter and try to stop it.But gun-rights advocates believe having more armed educators and law enforcement in schools will help stop a shooter from going on a rampage.?This confirms that action can, and should, be taken to mitigate harm and limit casualties when weapons are brought into school,? Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, said on Tuesday.Evers, the Wisconsin governor, said he is committed to working with Republicans who control the legislature on increasing mental health funding for schools.Evers said on WTMJ-Radio that he thinks Republicans will work with him on that, even though they did not provide as much funding for mental health programs as Evers requested in the state budget approved this summer. Republicans also refused to take up a pair of gun safety bills earlier this year that Evers said were part of the solution to combating violence in schools.Evers, a former state superintendent of schools who worked as a principal, school superintendent and administrator before he was elected governor, said the issue is particularly striking for him, given his background and the fact that has three grown children and nine grandchildren. Two of his children attended the high school in Oshkosh where the shooting occurred.?Our kids need help,? he said. ?I?ve been around long enough to see how this has amplified over time. The time is now to take it on.?


  • North Carolina GOP Rep Says He Won?t Seek Reelection After District Redrawing -

    North Carolina GOP Rep Says He Won?t Seek Reelection After District RedrawingRepresentative George Holding (R., N.C.) announced Friday that he will not seek reelection in 2020 after a North Carolina district reconfiguration put his seat in danger.?I should add, candidly, that yes, the newly redrawn Congressional Districts were part of the reason I have decided not to seek reelection,? he said in a statement. ?But, in addition, this is also a good time for me to step back and reflect on all that I have learned.?Holding, a former federal prosecutor who is wrapping up his fourth-term on Capitol Hill, added that he hoped to return to public office at some point in the future.> JUST IN: George Holding (R-NC) announces he's leaving Congress after redrawn map leaves him with a heavily Democratic district. pic.twitter.com/yX3tfxK1Sg> > -- Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 6, 2019Holding?s announcement comes after a North Carolina panel of judges confirmed a GOP redrawing of Congressional Districts which likely cedes Holding?s Wake-County seat to a Democratic challenge.According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Holding?s seat has changed from leaning Republican to likely Democrat.Republicans currently hold 10 of 13 congressional seats in North Carolina, but were forced to redesign the map after state judges blocked the existing district layout for the 2020 elections, citing excessive partisan bias. Despite picking up two seats, Democrats remain opposed the new map over allegations it did not do enough to reverse gerrymandering.Holding is the 18th House Republican not to seek reelection, and the second in two days, after Georgia Republican Tom Graves announced Thursday that he would no longer run for office.


  • Inquiry Reports Are Sent to Judiciary Panel: Impeachment Update -

    Inquiry Reports Are Sent to Judiciary Panel: Impeachment Update(Bloomberg) -- Leaders of six House committees have been directed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.The House Judiciary panel will hold a hearing Monday to hear presentations on the evidence by the chief counsels for both parties on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees.Here are the latest developments:?Inquiry Report? Sent to Judiciary Panel (10:25 p.m.)The ?Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report,? was sent to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday night, according to a congressional official.The report, from the chairs of the Intelligence.,Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees, will be the focus of a Judiciary impeachment hearing scheduled for Monday. The documents include transcripts of testimony by witnesses, the proceedings of hearings and other evidence.A minority report, from Republican members of the committees, was also sent along with the impeachment documents. Both sides released versions of their reports earlier this week.Pence Is Asked to Declassify Call Record (6:46 p.m.)The House Intelligence chairman asked Vice President Mike Pence to declassify a supplemental statement provided to the committee on Nov. 26 by Jennifer Williams, the vice president?s special adviser for Europe and Russia.Williams? supplemental statement contains additional information about Pence?s Sept. 18 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said in a letter. Williams testified at a public hearing on Nov. 19.Schiff wrote that after reviewing Williams? statement, the committee ?strongly believes that there is no legitimate basis? to assert that Williams? information about the Sept. 18 call is classified.Because Pence?s and Trump?s calls with Zelenskiy covered similar topics, and the president determined that releasing the records of his calls with Zelenskiy wouldn?t harm national security, declassifying Williams? statement also wouldn?t pose a threat to national security, Schiff wrote.He asked Pence to respond no later than Dec. 11.House GOP Seeks Whistle-Blower?s Testimony (5:19 p.m.)The Judiciary Committee?s top Republican, Doug Collins, proposed calling a number of witnesses, including Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, the unidentified whistle-blower and Joe Biden?s son Hunter.?We expect you to follow this reasonable advice,? Collins wrote in a letter Friday to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who has the authority to reject the request.Collins also sought testimony by every person relied on by the whistle-blower in drafting the complaint, and an unidentified person in the intelligence community who spoke to Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman about Trump?s July 25 call with Ukraine?s president.The whistle-blower would be able to testify in a manner that wouldn?t reveal the person?s identity, Collins said.Nadler wrote in response that Trump has repeatedly refused to respond to the allegations against him. ?Having declined this opportunity, he cannot claim that the process is unfair. The president?s failure will not prevent us from carrying out our solemn constitutional duty,? he wrote.White House Won?t Participate in Hearing (4:40 p.m.)The White House won?t participate in Monday?s hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, a senior administration official said.White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called the impeachment inquiry an ?abuse of power? in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler ahead of a Friday deadline he set for the president to indicate whether his representatives would seek to call or cross-examine any witnesses or submit evidence. The letter didn?t say explicitly whether Trump would participate in the hearing.?House Democrats have wasted enough of America?s time with this charade,? Cipollone wrote. ?You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings. Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats, and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our Nation?s history.?The letter quoted Trump, who said earlier this week that ?if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business.?House GOP Won?t Offer Defense Witnesses (12:42 p.m.)The House Judiciary Committee?s top Republican indicated Friday he isn?t taking seriously the Democratic chairman?s invitation to offer potential defense witnesses as part of the impeachment proceedings against Trump.Republican Doug Collins of Georgia said his team will send a response letter to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler later Friday. But he said Pelosi has already shown that the proceedings are a done deal.?She ended the suspense yesterday morning when she said we?re writing articles,? Collins said.The Judiciary panel is also waiting to hear from Trump on whether his representatives will seek to call or cross-examine any witnesses, or submit evidence to the committee.Catch Up on Impeachment CoverageKey EventsHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed the heads of six House committees to begin drafting articles of impeachment, saying that Congress must hold Trump accountable for his ?profound violation? of the public trust.The House Intelligence Committee Democrats? impeachment report is here.Gordon Sondland?s transcript is here and here; Kurt Volker?s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch?s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of Holmes, a Foreign Service officer in Kyiv, is here.The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent?s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper?s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson?s is here and Catherine Croft?s is here. Jennifer Williams? transcript is here and Timothy Morrison?s is here. Philip Reeker transcript is here. Mark Sandy?s is here.To contact the reporter on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Germany's Merkel voices 'shame' during 1st Auschwitz visit -

    Germany's Merkel voices 'shame' during 1st Auschwitz visitGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a feeling of "deep shame? during her first-ever visit on Friday to the hallowed grounds of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Adolf Hitler's regime murdered more than a million people. Merkel noted that her visit comes amid rising anti-Semitism and historical revisionism and vowed that Germany would not tolerate anti-Semitism.


  • Thai cave dive hero fights back tears as he tells court ?life sentence with no parole? inflicted by Elon Musk -

    Thai cave dive hero fights back tears as he tells court ?life sentence with no parole? inflicted by Elon MuskA British diver who helped rescue a dozen boys trapped in a cave in Thailand fought back tears as he told a court Elon Musk's "pedo guy" slur amounted to ?a life sentence with no parole?.Vernon Unsworth choked up on Wednesday as he testified against the Tesla CEO during a defamation trial in Los Angeles.


  • California congressman Duncan Hunter announces resignation after corruption plea -

    California congressman Duncan Hunter announces resignation after corruption pleaHunter's announcement that he would step down came days after the leading California lawmaker, a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, entered his guilty plea in federal court in San Diego. "Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, 42, said in a written statement released by his communications director.


  • Six months of sacrifice: Hong Kong's protesters take stock -

    Six months of sacrifice: Hong Kong's protesters take stockWith Beijing taking a hard line, it has since broadened into a call to halt authoritarian China's attempts to erode freedoms in the city. Raymond Yeung, a liberal studies teacher at the elite Diocesan Girls' School, joined the movement early and was there on June 12 when a massive protest descended into violence. Protesters broke into the forecourt of the city's legislative building, throwing objects including metal bars at police.


  • Tesla changed the release dates for the most and least expensive versions of the Cybertruck by a year -

    Tesla changed the release dates for the most and least expensive versions of the Cybertruck by a yearTesla said the three-motor Cybertruck would enter production in late 2021, while production for the single-motor Cybertruck would begin in late 2022.


  • This Is How the U.S. Marine Corps Wants to Deter Russia and China -

    This Is How the U.S. Marine Corps Wants to Deter Russia and ChinaBig changes are coming.


  • Trump Administration Authorizes 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Predators Again, Months After Backlash -

    Trump Administration Authorizes 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Predators Again, Months After BacklashThe devices have been used to poison thousands of coyotes, foxes and feral dogs to protect wildlife


  • Judge Allows Criminal Trial to Proceed against Pro-Life Investigators -

    Judge Allows Criminal Trial to Proceed against Pro-Life InvestigatorsA San Francisco judge ruled Friday that the criminal trial may move forward against the pro-life investigators who went undercover to record abortion industry executives talking about procuring fetal body parts.Judge Christopher Hite deemed the evidence sufficient to send to trial the case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, who are charged with nine felony counts, one count of conspiracy and eight counts of illegal taping. Six additional counts were dropped.Daleiden, 30, and Merritt, 64, several years ago surreptitiously recorded executives from Planned Parenthood and other organizations haggling about compensation for the procurement of fetal parts for researchers who request them.The Thomas More Society, representing the two pro-life investigators, announced the decision on Friday in a tweet.> BREAKING NEWS: 6 counts in David Daleiden's criminal case have been thrown out of court and 9 remain. Judge Hite deems the evidence enough to go to trial on 9 counts. More to follow!> > -- Thomas More Society (@ThomasMoreSoc) December 6, 2019Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action, called the charges against the investigators "unfounded and outrageous" in a statement on Friday's decision, saying they "have nothing to do with violating privacy or video recording laws but everything to do with protecting the powerful and wealthy abortion industry.""The same year David and Sandra published their recordings of Planned Parenthood employees haggling over the price of aborted baby body parts, videos taken by undercover animal rights activists were praised and led to investigations of abuse in the poultry industry," Rose said.Last month, the jury in the separate civil case against Daleiden and Merritt handed Planned Parenthood a win under federal racketeering statutes, awarding the abortion giant over $2.2 million.


  • Impeachment hearing joke draws angry response from Melania Trump ? and lays bare America's divide -

    Impeachment hearing joke draws angry response from Melania Trump ? and lays bare America's dividePamela Karlan?s reference to Trump?s son Barron offered Republicans a chance to claim righteous outrageFinally, a smoking pun. A simple play on words told us everything about the impeachment inquiry, the current mindset in Congress and the state of the nation.The witness Pamela Karlan cracked a joke that delighted liberals and infuriated conservatives. Or rather, it delighted conservatives because it gave them a talking point to whip up outrage.The afternoon session of the House judiciary committee hearing on the constitutional framework for impeachment had just begun when the Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee posed the question: ?What comparisons can we make between kings that the framers were afraid of and the president?s conduct today??Karlan, a Stanford Law School professor, replied: ?Kings could do no wrong because the king?s word was law. Contrary to what President Trump has said, article two [of the constitution] does not give him the power to do anything he wants.?I will give you one example that shows the difference between him and a king, which is: the constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. While the president can name his son Barron, he can?t make him a baron.?Jackson Lee smiled and there was laughter in the big and ornate committee room, where two carved eagles look down under the words ?E pluribus unum? (out of many, one) and a dozen uniformed Capitol police lent an air of a courtroom drama. Karlan?s point echoed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson?s recent opinion, cited at Wednesday?s hearing, that ?the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that presidents are not kings?.But could we forgive the pun? Not when the president?s son, tall but only 13 years of age, was involved. Republicans?s well-oiled fury machine clicked straight into gear. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, tweeted: ?Classless move by a Democratic ?witness?. Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline.?The Trump 2020 election campaign demanded Karlan personally apologise to the president and first lady. Back in the room, the Trump loyalist Matt Gaetz expressed righteous indignation. ?When you invoke the president?s son?s name here, when you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump, that does not lend credibility to your argument,? he told Karlan. Like Jim Jordan and Elise Stefanik in the intelligence committee hearings, Gaetz would have known that clip has plenty of potential for replays on Fox News and rightwing social media, bashing the left as vengeful and in the throes of ?Trump derangement syndrome?.As the clock ticked past half-five, the hearing learned, with an audible gasp, that Melania Trump herself had weighed in, tweeting: ?A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.?Karlan apologised. ?It was wrong of me to do that,? she told the hearing. ?I regret having said that.?The division over this pun ? a laugh line to some, evidence of liberal sneering to others ? cut to the chase of yet another hopelessly polarised hearing. Facts mattered less than being on the winning team. It made one wonder whether Americans don?t even laugh at the same jokes any more.Three of the witnesses, including Karlan, had been called by Democrats to testify that the evidence gathered regarding Trump?s dealings with Ukraine meets the historical definition of impeachment. The other witness had been called by Republicans. Few Democratic or Republican politicians put a question to a witness from the other side.Democrats got plenty of ammunition. Representative Steve Cohen laid out an ABC ? Abuse of power, Betrayal of the national interest and Corruption of elections ? and asked if Trump had achieved the trifecta. ?Yes,? replied all three Democratic witnesses. Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor, said: ?I just want to stress that if what we?re talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable.?But their opponents worked tirelessly to argue that their witnesses were partisan ivory tower-dwellers and therefore ignorable in this ?sham? and ?farce?. The Republican witness was Jonathan Turley, who was somewhat measured, opining that Trump?s phone call with the Ukrainian president ?was anything but perfect?. But the George Washington University law professor said: ?One can oppose President Trump?s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects dangerous.?There were also some structural problems for Democrats in the all-important court of public opinion. At hearings like Wednesday?s, they have to take turns with Republicans, which creates an impression of equivalence: first let?s put the case for the world being round, now let?s hear the case that it?s flat.So before some empty seats in the press and public galleries, members continued to talk past each other. For those still watching at home, the alternatives were sleep or, after the TV newsman Howard Beale in the film Network, to cry out: ?I?m as mad as hell, and I?m not going to take this any more!?Turley had an answer for that too. ?I get it. You?re mad,? he said. ?The president?s mad. My Republican friends are mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad. And Luna?s a goldendoodle, and they don?t get mad. So we?re all mad.?


  • Germany: 'No understanding' for Russia outrage on expulsions -

    Germany: 'No understanding' for Russia outrage on expulsionsGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff is urging Russia to support the investigation of a killing prosecutors say appears to have ordered by Russian or Chechen authorities, and says he has ?no understanding" for outraged reactions from Moscow. Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian man on the streets of Berlin in August. German federal prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia?s republic of Chechnya.


  • Pakistan pulls back on prosecuting Chinese sex traffickers -

    Pakistan pulls back on prosecuting Chinese sex traffickersPakistan has declined to pursue a sprawling case against Chinese sex traffickers due to fears it would harm economic ties with Beijing, the AP reported on Wednesday. Pakistan has been seeking closer ties with China for years as Beijing continue to make major investments in the country?s infrastructure.


  • UPDATE 8-Indian police kill 4 men suspected of rape, murder, drawing applause and concern -

    UPDATE 8-Indian police kill 4 men suspected of rape, murder, drawing applause and concernIndian police shot dead four men on Friday who were suspected of raping and killing a 27-year-old veterinarian near Hyderabad city, an action applauded by her family and many citizens outraged over sexual violence against women. The men had been in police custody and were shot dead near the scene of last week's crime after they snatched weapons from two of the 10 policemen accompanying them, said police commissioner V.C. Sajjanar. Thousands of Indians have protested in several cities over the past week following the veterinarian's death, the latest in a series of horrific cases of sexual assault in the country.


  • China imposes 'reciprocal' restrictions on US diplomats -

    China imposes 'reciprocal' restrictions on US diplomatsChina on Friday said it had taken "reciprocal" measures against US diplomats in the country, ordering them to notify the foreign ministry before meeting with local officials. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had notified the US embassy of the new measures on Wednesday, which she said were a "countermeasure" to Washington's decision in October to restrict Chinese diplomats. In October, the US ordered Chinese diplomats to notify the State Department in advance of any official meetings with US diplomats, local or municipal officials, and before any visits to colleges or research institutions.


  • Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin is working with the Federal Reserve to curtail another repo rate crisis, report says -

    Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin is working with the Federal Reserve to curtail another repo rate crisis, report saysMnuchin told the House that he and Fed Chair Jerome Powell met multiple times to discuss liquidity concerns ahead of year-end reserve obligations.


  • Bombs Away! The Powerful B-52 Bomber Is Getting Even More Deadly -

    Bombs Away! The Powerful B-52 Bomber Is Getting Even More DeadlyTime for an upgrade.


  • Dozens of hungry polar bears causing problems for a Russian village -

    Dozens of hungry polar bears causing problems for a Russian villageEnvironmentalists says unusually warm weather has kept the "thin" bears from their usual hunting grounds, so they've come inland.


  • Thousands of Las Vegas shooting victims will have to split an $800 million settlement. Now, 2 retired judges have to decide which victims deserve the most. -

    Thousands of Las Vegas shooting victims will have to split an $800 million settlement. Now, 2 retired judges have to decide which victims deserve the most.Though $800 million seems like an enormous settlement, some 4,500 people joined the lawsuit against MGM Resorts. Some will need more than others.


  • Employee shot at a Virginia post office -

    Employee shot at a Virginia post officeAuthorities say a postal worker has been shot at a northern Virginia post office by an agent for the Postal Service's Inspector General's office. News outlets report that it happened Wednesday morning at the parking lot of the Lovettsville post office in Loudoun County.


  • 'Dark money' ties raise questions for GOP Sen. Ernst of Iowa -

    'Dark money' ties raise questions for GOP Sen. Ernst of IowaAn outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst's longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign.


  • Florida Keys Deliver a Hard Message: As Seas Rise, Some Places Can't Be Saved -

    Florida Keys Deliver a Hard Message: As Seas Rise, Some Places Can't Be SavedKEY WEST, Fla. -- Officials in the Florida Keys announced what many coastal governments nationwide have long feared, but few have been willing to admit: As seas rise and flooding gets worse, not everyone can be saved.And in some places, it doesn't even make sense to try.On Wednesday morning, Rhonda Haag, the county's sustainability director, released the first results of the county's yearslong effort to calculate how high its 300 miles of roads must be elevated to stay dry, and at what cost. Those costs were far higher than her team expected -- and those numbers, she said, show that some places can't be protected, at least at a price that taxpayers can be expected to pay."I never would have dreamed we would say 'no,'" Haag said in an interview. "But now, with the real estimates coming in, it's a different story. And it's not all doable."The results released Wednesday focus on a single 3-mile stretch of road at the southern tip of Sugarloaf Key, a small island 15 miles up U.S. Highway 1 from Key West. To keep those 3 miles of road dry year-round in 2025 would require raising it by 1.3 feet, at a cost of $75 million, or $25 million per mile. Keeping the road dry in 2045 would mean elevating it 2.2 feet, at a cost of $128 million. To protect against expected flooding levels in 2060, the cost would jump to $181 million.And all that to protect about two dozen homes."I can't see staff recommending to raise this road," Haag said. "Those are taxpayer dollars, and as much as we love the Keys, there's going to be a time when it's going to be less population."The people who live on that 3-mile stretch of road were less understanding. If the county feels that other parts of the Keys ought to be saved, said Leon Mense, a 63-year-old office manager at a medical clinic, then at least don't make him pay for it."So somebody in the city thinks they deserve more of my tax money than I do?" Manse asked. "Then don't charge us taxes, how does that sound?"She suggested the county could offer residents a ferry, water taxis, or some other kind of boat during the expanding window during which the road is expected to go underwater during the fall high tides."If that's three months a year for the next 20 years, and that gets them a decade or two, that's perhaps worth it," Haag said. "We can do a lot. But we can't do it all."At a climate change conference in Key West on Wednesday, Roman Gastesi, the Monroe County manager, said elected leaders will have to figure out how to make those difficult calls."How do you tell somebody, 'We're not going to build the road to get to your home'? And what do we do?" Gastesi asked. "Do we buy them out? And how do we buy them out -- is it voluntary? Is it eminent domain? How do we do that?"Administrators and elected officials are going to have to start to rely on a "word nobody likes to use," Gastesi said, "and that's 'retreat.'"The county's elected officials must now decide whether to accept that recommendation. The mayor of Monroe County, Heather Carruthers, said she hopes the cost of raising the roads turns out to be lower than what her staff have found, as the need for adaptation leads to better technology.Still, Carruthers said, "We can't protect every single house."Asked how she expected residents would respond, Carruthers said she expects pushback. "I'm sure that some of them will be very irate, and we'll probably face some lawsuits," she said. "But we can't completely keep the water away."The odds of the county winning future possible lawsuits over the policy are unclear. The novelty of what the Keys' officials are proposing is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that nobody can say for certain whether it's legally defensible.The law generally requires local governments to maintain roads and other infrastructure, because failure to do so will reduce the property value of surrounding homes, according to Erin Deady, a lawyer who specializes in climate and land-use law and is a consultant to the county on adapting to rising seas. But local officials retain the right to decide whether or not to upgrade or enhance that infrastructure.What's unclear, Deady said, is whether raising a road to prevent it from going underwater is more akin to maintaining or upgrading. That's because no court has yet ruled on the issue."The law hasn't caught up with that," Deady said.She said she thinks the county is within its rights to refuse to elevate the road at the end of Sugarloaf Key, so long as it's transparent about the rationale for that decision. "At some point, there's an economic consideration," she said. "We can't manage every condition."The debates over county spending and legal precedents will determine the future of Old State Road 4A, two lanes of asphalt tucked between mangroves that mostly obscure the water threatening it from all around. On a recent afternoon, the only signs of life on this road were the occasional passing car, along with the gates many of the road's few residents have erected to keep unwanted visitors out of their driveways.Henry Silverman, a retired teacher from Long Island in New York, bought a house on the southern edge of Sugarloaf Key 10 years ago. The building's first floor is 18 feet off the ground; a boardwalk cuts through a forest of mangroves to his boat launch. His wife, Melissa, said that when farmers burn sugar cane in Cuba, 90 miles to the south, they can see the plumes of smoke from their roof and even smell the sugar.Still, climate change is encroaching on their treehouse paradise. Hurricane Irma in 2017 blew out their screens and pushed water through the windows. Each high tide brings the saltwater a little bit closer, killing the palm trees under the deck and popping the wooden slats off the boardwalk. The couple used to fly down from Long Island in a Cessna, until one day the runway at the island's airport was underwater."What's government for? They're supposed to protect your property," Silverman said from behind the wheel of his shallow skiff boat on a recent afternoon.The couple listed the variety of jobs that depend on the people who live on this street: Landscapers, construction workers, caterers, carpenters, the restaurants up the road. "There's a lot of trickle-down," Silverman said.Still, he conceded that it might be difficult to generate sympathy among the broader public for the plight of this neighborhood. "Nobody feels sorry for anybody living down here," Silverman said, gesturing across the water to the gated mansions that line the shore.Mense, who lives in the last house on the road, suggested that officials focus instead on slowing global warming, without which no amount of adaptation will be enough for these islands."Maybe we should think about stopping, or trying to stop, the cause of the water rising," Mense said. "At what point will the road be high enough?"Others seemed resigned. Georgia Siegel, a 73-year-old yoga teacher who grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved here 20 years ago, said that if the government decided this area can't be sustained, she would simply leave."What am I going to do?" Seigel asked, standing on the narrow beach in front of the home that she and her husband built. "It's a problem that's bigger than me."Not everyone was so sanguine about the prospect. A woman who lives in one of the more modest homes along this road, who asked not to be identified for fear that discussing flooding would hurt her property value, said she worried what the county's plans mean for her future."This is all I have," she said, gesturing to her house next to the water. "If that road goes under, I go under."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


  • Indian rape victim dies in hospital after being set ablaze -

    Indian rape victim dies in hospital after being set ablazeA 23-year-old rape victim died in a hospital in the Indian capital two days after she was set on fire by a gang of men, including her alleged rapist, Reuters partner ANI reported on Saturday. The woman was on her way to board a train in Unnao district of northern Uttar Pradesh state to attend a court hearing when she was doused with kerosene and set on fire on Thursday, according to the police. Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state and has become notorious for its poor record regarding crimes against women, with more than 4,200 cases of rape reported there in 2017 - the highest in the country.


  • Philippines floods force 66,000 from homes -

    Philippines floods force 66,000 from homesThe Philippines' north has been hit by some of its worst flooding in decades, with torrents of muddy runoff forcing 66,000 from their homes and prompting rescues of trapped locals, authorities said Friday. Luzon island, the nation's largest, has been hit by a string of storms that have battered its northern tip while monsoon rains were intensified by the passage of Typhoon Kammuri this week. "This is one of the biggest floods in decades," Rogelio Sending, information officer for Cagayan province in the northeast of Luzon, told AFP.


  • Here's how Trump could be impeached, removed from office, and still win re-election in 2020 -

    Here's how Trump could be impeached, removed from office, and still win re-election in 2020After removing a president, the Senate must separately vote by simple majority to prevent them from holding a federal office in the future.


  • India Is About to Start Targeting Citizens Without Proof of Ancestry -

    India Is About to Start Targeting Citizens Without Proof of AncestryAll voting-age Indians may soon be asked to submit government-issued ID to prove citizenship. That may be a challenge for women, religious minorities and members of oppressed castes.


  • Bloomberg: ?Nobody Asked Me? About Stop and Frisk Until I Ran for President -

    Bloomberg: ?Nobody Asked Me? About Stop and Frisk Until I Ran for PresidentDemocratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg claims no one asked him until he was a 2020 contender about the controversial "stop and frisk" policy the NYPD adopted while he was mayor of New York City.Bloomberg recently apologized for ?stop and frisk,? the practice that disproportionately affected black and Latino men in New York of briefly stopping civilians on the street to question them and search them for weapons or illegal substances.?I was wrong,? Bloomberg, 77, said last month in Brooklyn. ?And I am sorry.??Some people are suspicious of the timing of your apology,? CBS anchor Gayle King told Bloomberg during an interview that aired Friday.> Former NYC Mayor @MikeBloomberg tells @GayleKing "nobody asked" him about stop & frisk until he started running for president.> > "I'm sorry. I apologize. Let's go fight the NRA and find other ways to stop the murders and incarceration. Those are things that I'm committed to do." pic.twitter.com/ww1pJPraBt> > -- CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 6, 2019?Well, the mark of an intelligent, competent person is when they make a mistake, they have the guts to stand up and say ?I made a mistake, I?m sorry,'" Bloomberg responded.King pressed further, saying people do not question whether Bloomberg believes he made a mistake but rather the convenient timing of his realization.?Nobody asked me about it until I started running for president, so come on,? Bloomberg shot back.?We were overzealous at the time to do it," he added. "Our intent was to do anything we could to stop the carnage, the murder rate. And what was surprising is when we stopped doing it a little bit, we thought crime would go up. It didn?t. It went down. Should have, would have, and could have, I can't help that. In looking back, I made a mistake. I?m sorry, I apologize.??Let?s go fight the NRA and find other ways to stop the murders and incarceration. Those are things that I?m committed to do," Bloomberg concluded.Bloomberg is currently polling in fifth place behind former vice president Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.


  • A woman Photoshopped her family's Christmas card to include her military husband who's serving overseas -

    A woman Photoshopped her family's Christmas card to include her military husband who's serving overseasDanielle Cobo's husband is serving overseas in the military, but they still wanted to take a family picture together for this year's Christmas card.


  • Purdue president apologizes for calling black scholar ?rarest creature in America? -

    Purdue president apologizes for calling black scholar ?rarest creature in America?Two weeks after he told students an African American scholar was the ?rarest phenomenon,? Purdue President Mitch Daniels retracted his statement.


  • House passes bill to restore key parts of Voting Rights Act -

    House passes bill to restore key parts of Voting Rights ActThe Democratic-controlled House approved a bill Friday that would restore key sections of the Voting Rights Act that once required officials in all or parts of 15 mostly Southern states to receive federal approval before making changes to the voting process. The bill would amend the 1965 law to impose new obligations on states and local jurisdictions, essentially reversing a 2013 Supreme Court decision that tossed out a "pre-clearance" provision that determined which jurisdictions needed federal oversight of elections. Veteran Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., an icon of the civil rights movement, announced the tally in a sign of the importance Democratic leaders place on the measure.


  • Police Officer Under Investigation After Footage Said to Show Him Groping Dead Woman -

    Police Officer Under Investigation After Footage Said to Show Him Groping Dead WomanA Los Angeles police officer has been placed under investigation, a police spokesman said Wednesday.Body camera footage was said to show him groping a deceased woman's breasts, according to a person familiar with the case.The unidentified male officer was not working while the case was under investigation, Josh Rubenstein, the department spokesman, said.The officer had been assigned to the Central Division and was responding to an overdose call, he said. Rubenstein declined to provide specific information about the incident, including when it occurred, because it is part of a personnel investigation.Supervisors throughout the jurisdiction conduct random reviews of video on a monthly basis, Rubenstein said.All uniformed officers assigned to patrol the Los Angeles area have cameras, he said, and roughly 7,000 cameras are issued."If this allegation is true, then the behavior exhibited by this officer is not only wrong, but extremely disturbing, and does not align with the values we, as police officers, hold dear and these values include respect and reverence for the deceased," the board of directors for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police officers' union, said in a statement on Wednesday. "This behavior has no place in law enforcement."Police departments around the country have increasingly used body cameras after several high-profile shootings. In 2015, about 95% of large police departments started using body cameras or said they would use them in the future, a national survey said.A 2017 study of more than 2,000 Washington, D.C. officers conducted over 18 months showed officers with body cameras used force and prompted civilian complaints at nearly the same rate as officers without the equipment.A Baltimore police officer was suspended and charges against a man were dropped after a body-camera recording appeared to show an officer planting a bag of drugs at the scene of an arrest in January 2017. In that case, the camera retained recordings beginning 30 seconds before it was activated.In November 2018, The New York Times published body-camera recordings of an arrest in Staten Island that raised questions regarding police behavior. In this case, lawyers for the defendant claimed the footage contained possible proof that an officer planted a marijuana cigarette. The officer and the Police Department denied any wrongdoing.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


  • Azerbaijan plants 650,000 trees to celebrate poet - but green activists grumble -

    Azerbaijan plants 650,000 trees to celebrate poet - but green activists grumbleOil-rich Azerbaijan planted more than half a million trees on Friday to celebrate a 14th century poet, an initiative the government said would help tackle climate change but some environmental activists called "a waste of money". The Azeri ministry of ecology said 650,000 trees were being planted across the country to mark the 650th anniversary of the birth of Seyid Imadeddin Nesimi, whose work touched on the relation between man and nature. Countries from India to Malawi have launched large-scale tree-planting efforts, but scientists have warned that such initiatives are not a panacea against global warming.


  • Banks gave $745 billion to groups planning new coal power plants: NGOs -

    Banks gave $745 billion to groups planning new coal power plants: NGOsFinancial institutions have channeled $745 billion over the past three years into companies planning new coal-fired power plants, according to a report by environmental groups, who are urging global banks to stop financing the sector. The report's release comes as world leaders met this week in Madrid for a 12-day UN climate summit, where they are expected to hammer out some of the details of the 2015 Paris agreement.


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